IADT achieves Athena Swan Bronze Institution Award
The Institute is proud to be the first higher education institution (HEI) in Ireland to achieve an award under the new Athena Swan Charter principles for Ireland. Published in 2021 following a national consultation, the new Charter offers a framework for progressing equality in higher education and research that is unique to Ireland. The objective is to support impactful and sustainable gender equality work for all categories of staff and the student population and to build capacity for evidence-based equality work across the equality grounds enshrined in Irish legislation. The 2021 Charter also aligns with the requirements for Horizon Europe.
IADT President, David Smith said: “I am immensely proud of how IADT, and our SAT team, maintained momentum and remained dedicated to this submission under the most difficult of circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The results of the self-assessment process provide IADT – and in particular the leadership team – with a sound basis to build on our successes and to address other deficiencies in our EDI work and commitments. Each action represents a direct response to the needs and priorities expressed by our staff, SAT, and students during the consultation phase, in addition to the emerging priorities of the higher education sector.
Consultations frequently reflected our legislative responsibilities and were cognisant of the significant organisational and operational constraints faced within the Higher Education Technological Sector”.
Following deliberations, the external panel agreed by consensus that IADT’s submission had demonstrated the requirements to meet the criteria for Bronze through its:
- Descriptions of and planned structures and processes to underpin and recognise gender equality work and wider equality work;
- Evidence-based recognition of the issues and opportunities facing the Institute;
- Four-year EDI Action Plan to address identified issues.
The panel highlighted a range of good practices and planned initiatives at IADT, including:
- Race awareness training was made mandatory for all Executive and Central managers in 2020 (and training will be run again for newly-appointed managers);
- Training was offered to all Academic Staff and PMASS Staff on anti-racism and inclusive education;
- A working group consisting of male staff from each functional area will be established to brainstorm measures to increase male engagement with EDI;
- Establishment of a Master of Business in EDI;
- Training on disability in the workplace will be organised for staff to accompany the new IADT Code of Practice for the Employment of Staff with a Disability;
- Provision of mandatory EDI training for Y1 students in the Faculty of Film, Art + Creative Technologies (FFACT);
- IADT will scope out the potential for future collaborative opportunities in the EDI space with the dlr Age Friendly and Social Inclusion Unit and Integration Forum.
Importantly, panel members also noted areas where action items should be monitored closely, especially for pertinent issues around institutional culture, and made helpful suggestions on the EDI Action Plan.
The IADT application was prepared by a self-assessment team (SAT) comprising of IADT staff and student representatives. Over an 18-month period, the SAT completed a thorough quantitative and qualitative assessment of staff and student datasets and benchmarking statistics and institutional policies, procedures, and culture through the lens of gender and EDI.
IADT EDI Manager and SAT Chair, Claire McGing commented:
“The success of this application is the result of the hard work of colleagues across the Institute who gave their time to sit on the SAT and all staff and students who participated in working groups and fed into the consultation process.
Athena Swan accreditation is not the end point but the starting point towards the achievement of gender parity and full EDI activity; institutional change takes time and a Bronze Award represents a key milestone in this journey. I look forward to working with colleagues to implement our EDI Action Plan which runs until 2026”.
IADT’s Athena Swan application can be viewed below.
Engagement with the Athena Swan Charter is a key pillar of Ireland’s national strategy for gender equality in higher education. The Department’s Gender Action Plan 2018-2020 has explicit recommendations and actions for HEIs in relation to the attainment of Athena Swan certification and eligibility for research funding. Institutional access to Athena Swan Ireland is provided by the Higher Education Authority.
The European Commission mandates public bodies, HEIs, and research bodies to have a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) or equivalent plan in place for eligibility in Horizon Europe schemes.
For further information:
Claire McGing, IADT EDI Manager/SAT Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org